As you may have gathered, I’ve upped my running recently. In theory, I am targeting to run the AT&T Austin Marathon on February 15th. I’m about five weeks into training at the moment, and so far, so good. Billie has been running with me, which has been excellent. We’re following a modified training program loosely based on these two training schedules, with some variations planned in by our friendly neighbourhood athletic advisers, Natalie and Katie.
Run For The Water was my first 10 miler of the season (and Billie’s first 10mile run ever), and I was feeling a little apprehensive about the hills and the distance, in that order. We went out slow, which was part of The Plan, and used the first couple of miles as a warm-up. The rolling hills started somewhere around mile 3 and continued through about mile 7. But they weren’t nearly as bad as I had feared and I actually enjoyed the rolling hill section (!) of the course up Exposition, over Enfield, up Pecos and down Scenic. There were lots of interesting things to look at. There were enough runners around us that I never felt cut off from the pack, yet never so many runners that I felt crowded in. The aid stations were well run and sufficiently spaced. The weather was sunny, yet cool and we were able to run in the shade. It was great!
We ran a steady ~11 minute mile pace throughout the first half of the race, and ended up feeling good in the second half and were able to bring it home a little faster than we went out. Always a good sign when it’s possible to negative split on a long run.
According to my Nike+ iPod thingy, we ended up running the course in an average pace of 10.33/mile, which is pretty fast for me :)! However, my iPod also measured the course at 10.4miles, instead of the official race distance of 10miles. My chip time for the race was 1hr49min34s, which averages out at about 10.57/m over 10miles. Not quite so speedy, but whatever. Either way, I’m feeling pretty pleased with our performance, mostly because we finished feeling so darn strong.
It’s a great confidence builder to see the training start to pay off.
All in all, a well supported event with a great course and some nice weather and entertaining company thrown in for good measure.
I’d definitely like to participate in the Run For The Water again.